Banana stickers and surprise packages: Six things we learned on Strictly this week
PUBLISHED: 10:57 25 September 2018
We have now seen the fifteen celebrities take their first steps for our amusement - and with a massive 130-minute show to kick off the series, we have all the highlights from the first big show.
I know you’re busy, there’s no time to waste so let’s get into this week’s six Strictly lessons:
No one is getting kicked off this week
The pre-recorded guff is in the past: it’s all live Saturday night entertainment from now until the final - but there was no Sunday night results show to boot out the first unlucky contestant this week.
All the points scored this week get added to next week’s points, combined with the public vote, stir gently into the soil of a riverbed and the shingle by the light of the first full moon will reveal who is going home.
The idea is to give everyone a chance to show the voting public what they’re made of, and with all the money spent on voting for your winner going towards Children In Need it would seem that there’s no money-making scheme hidden away to encourage people to shill out into the pockets of television execs. Good job BBC.
Popstars have a huge advantage on Strictly
Avid readers will remember that I claimed ex-popstar Ashley Roberts had a distinct advantage with her sense of rhythm and being physically fit. Well, I was right.
Ashley and Steps star Faye Tozer topped the leader board, but Blue heartthrob Lee Ryan is wallowing in mid-table obscurity, so it would seem musicians are not guaranteed an easy ride.
There was some surprises packages in the eyes of the judges - YouTuber Joe Sugg had slipped under the judge’s radar and there was a stand-out performance from Red Dwarf’s Danny John Jules - at 58 he is the oldest contestant - who opened the show with a hot-pink suit and scorching foxtrot to finish third.
The remaining top half of the leaderboard is either young, athletic or both, with, Charles Venn, Lauren Steadman (she literally just won a gold medal as a paraTriathlete) and Dr. Ranj Singh appearing.
Apparently we need reminding of what the celebrities are famous for
Showrunners do not seem to trust the audience to distinguish between the contestants now they’re here, so we have been reminded through the most obvious hints in staging and props this week.
Cricketer Graeme Swann? Arrived on a giant cricket bat from the ceiling polishing a ball on his shirt like a teachers pet polishes an apple.
Dr. Ranj? A doctor, albeit with a thermometer on a platform that fired sparks out when he pounced on a table.
Faye from Steps? Better make sure she does the dance moves from Tragedy in her routine.
Newsreader Kate Silverton? Not only did they send her and her partner to the BBC newsroom for their intro VT this week, she had a newsdesk on the dancefloor.
YouTuber Joe? Make sure everyone knows he’s for the young people - bury him in emojis!
It’s appropriate to hide under women’s dresses again
Susannah Constantine, giving us all a demonstration of What Not To Wear, appeared before us a garish nightmare in orange.
A bowl of fruit atop her head and looking every bit like the Chiquita banana sticker, she revealed a maraca-rattling Anton Du Beke from beneath her bloomers on live TV.
Out he popped twice, a tanned, grinning cuckoo bird reminding everyone it was too late to change the channel, the image burned onto millions of retinas across the country.
This flamboyant gambit was not enough to hide Susannah’s clumping feet and she scored a dismal 12 points: only Fiona Phillips and Quentin Wilson have ever done worse.
The ‘Strictly curse’ is still a hot topic
Celebrity relationships are often played out in the public eye, and Strictly has a reputation for making and breaking couples every year.
Ex-Strictly pro dancer Brendan Cole famously seduced four of his fellow dancers wives during one season and since leaving the show has refused to return them.
This year, Lee Ryan and partner Nadiya Bychkova are being frequently photographed holding hands in a salacious manner, despite both being in relationships.
Some gossip columns have erupted into speculation over torrid affairs, when the wedding date will be and if they can find any ex-partners to talk up their past infidelities.
Now it’s spilling onto the show and host Tess Daly as well as judges Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli all took their opportunity to give the pair a suggestive ‘nudge and wink’ - to which they seemed totally oblivious.
It’s not a classy way to conduct the show, and Darcey Bussell was visibly ticked off when her fellow judges made their smutty insinuations.
The next dance is a double-edged sword
Next week’s scores will be vital to save the struggling celebrities at the bottom of the table: potential frontrunner Vick Hope is joint-twelfth with Seann Walsh, whose Bodyguard-esque Tango went down like a lead balloon.
A nation’s sweetheart, Katie Piper, also tripped on her partners feet as she nervously shuffled through her dance, leaving her second from bottom.
There’s hope though - a bad dance form someone further up will likely be fresher in the public’s mind, so if they end up on a similar number of points, anyone on an upwards trajectory stands a fighting chance.
So who is going home next week? Who will be pulling out all the stops? Will anyone be able to look Anton in the eye backstage after that frankly upsetting Samba? We will have to tune in next week to find out!